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CNES invites Decathlon to design a spacesuit for French astronauts

CNES invites Decathlon to design a spacesuit for French astronauts

When we think of space in France, Cnes is obviously one of the organizations we immediately think of, Decathlon, a little less so.

On May 23, 2024, the National Center for Space Studies (CNES), the French space agency, announced on statement She was working on developing a new space suit inside the vehicle. To do this, it invited three French companies.

Cnes and Décathlon: a European blend thanks to French know-how

Thus, in order to design the future spacesuit in Europe, Cnes turned to three French companies:

  • Spartan space
  • Institute of Aerospace Medicine and Physiology (MEDS)
  • And the decimal

the first, Spartan space, is a startup company based in Marseille. This startup, founded in 2021, takes its place in the so-called “new space” ecosystem that aims to fully exploit the potential of space.

In the description made on European Space Agency (ESA) websiteIt aims to: “Developing comfortable, modular and comfortable habitats as a service to enable people to live safely in space and under the oceans“.

The MedesFor its part, it is an institution that has been recognized for more than 35 years by the largest space agencies in the world. He supports and advises agencies such as NASA, ESA and CNES and promotes “Applications of space research in the field of health“.

Finally, Decathlon is the leading French company in sales and design of textiles for the sports field. Thus, according to a Cnes press release, the company is an expert in its field.”He wishes to face the field of space“.

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Cnes and Decathlon: first wetsuit prototype in 2024

In the press release issued by the French Space Agency, we learned in particular that Decathlon has been working on this suit since December 2023 from its development center in Lille.

If a specific completion date for this work has not been set by anyone involved in the project, the press release specifies that the prototype should be delivered to Cnes in 2024.

This futuristic combination envisioned by Cnes, Décathlon, Spartan Space and Medes should be used, inside vehicles, on future missions to the International Space Station, the Moon or even Mars.

This is part of CNES's strategy which has four main objectives:

  • National sovereignty
  • Science
  • Economic competitiveness
  • climate

What is an in-vehicle suit?

As the name suggests, astronauts wear such a suit when they are inside a ship: a rocket, the International Space Station, or future space bases, perhaps on the Moon or Mars. Cnes and Décathlon work on this type of formula.

Therefore, they are the opposite of extravehicular suits, which are real space suits designed to withstand the conditions of the vacuum of space.

These cells that were ported by the astronauts that had an effect on the repair missions on the ISS or the cells that ported Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins from the Apollo 11 mission when they walked on the moon.

Source: Cnes / Les Numériques